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Councillor suggests penalty points system of fines after Cork sees rise in street drinking

A Cork councillor is suggesting a penalty points-style system of fines to tackle street drinking in the city.

Cork City Council figures show that 317 fines for street drinking were handed out in 2018, nearly three times more than the previous year.

The system proposed would see fines linked to social welfare payments in some cases.

Despite high compliance in the number of people paying the fines, Councillor Des Cahill believes it shows the current system is not working.

Mr Cahill said: "We don't introduce laws to create and generate funding, we do it to deter and to reduce habits.

"The figures are startling, I would agree that we don't have enough Gardaí on the streets which should be a deterrent, but I actually feel that even with the Gardaí we have on it, that's clearly not a deterrent anymore."

Councillor Cahill went on to explain how it might work.

He said: "The second time somebody is before the courts the fine increases, the third time and so on and so on. And similar to the penalty points, after a number of years, this will reduce.

"This was a suggestion that I was given by the Gardaí and I would really think that the judiciary and the Government should listen to the Gardaí first for advice on how to deal with this."